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Nesting kittiwakes have a bird’s eye view of Hartlepool lifeboat station

Some feathered friends are having a bird’s eye view of life at Hartlepool lifeboat station.

The town’s RNLI station has once again played host to a colony of kittiwakes that have nested below the gangway that leads to the all-weather lifeboat at the Ferry Road lifeboat station.

Kittiwake families at the Hartlepool RNLI Station. Photo RNLI/Tom Collins

Kittiwake families at the Hartlepool RNLI Station. Photo RNLI/Tom Collins

The noisy visitors have once again had a successful breeding season with dozens of chicks hatching and being fed and watched over by their parents along the narrow five-inch steel ledge.

The spot acts as their nesting place and home for around 8-10 weeks during the summer.

Hartlepool RNLI station mechanic, Garry Waugh, said: “Despite going to and fro along the gangway every day and occasionally during the night to the all-weather lifeboat and being just a few feet from the kittiwakes, they don’t seem too bothered.

“They are very noisy during the breeding season, but some of the sounds they create are quite unique and amusing at times.

They are very noisy during the breeding season

Garry Waugh

“Even on a shout when myself and volunteer crew members are rushing across the gangway to get to the all-weather lifeboat they just watch us cross, oblivious to what’s going on before we head out to sea.”

In a few weeks’ time the young chicks will have flown along with the adult birds until next spring when the kittiwakes return again to claim their nests at the lifeboat station and share the gangway with the volunteer RNLI lifeboat crewmembers.

Kittiwake families at the Hartlepool RNLI Station. Photo RNLI/Tom Collins

Kittiwake families at the Hartlepool RNLI Station. Photo RNLI/Tom Collins

Parental love. Photo RNLI/Tom Collins

Parental love. Photo RNLI/Tom Collins

Kittiwake chicks at the Hartlepool RNLI station. Photo RNLI/Tom Collins

Kittiwake chicks at the Hartlepool RNLI station. Photo RNLI/Tom Collins

The nests in the evening.

The nests in the evening.

Kittiwake parents having an argument. Photo RNLI/Tom Collins

Kittiwake parents having an argument. Photo RNLI/Tom Collins